The White House included gays and lesbians in its proclamation of Family Day that was issued Sept. 28. The press release stated, in part, "Whether children are raised by two parents, a single parent, grandparents, a same-sex couple, or a guardian, families encourage us to do our best and enable us to accomplish great things."
In Minnesota, the St. Paul Police Department has solved a cold case regarding the 1977 murder of Mark Shemukenas, according to an Advocate.com item. Authorities were able to arrest Richard Hubert Ireland, Jr., thanks to a thumbprint left at the crime scene. Back in 1977, police thought that Shemukenas, 30, met his murderer at a local gay bar; the victim's mutilated, naked body was found in his apartment.
The U.S. Census Bureau has revealed that approximately 150,000 same-sex couples live in some sort of marital relationship, according to a South Florida Blade item. The number is significantly higher than the number of same-sex marriage and civil unions that have been performed so fara discrepancy experts attribute to some gay and lesbian partners believing their committed relationship are comparable to marriage, even in states where same-sex marriage is prohibited.
In Wisconsin, gay-rights organizations have asked the state's supreme court to reject a challenge to the domestic-partnership registry, which includes same-sex couples, according to On Top Magazine. The conservative groups Wisconsin Family Action and the Alliance Defense Fund have asked the court to terminate the registry; however, on Sept. 22, pro-gay organizations Lambda Legal and Fair Wisconsin filed briefs asking that the arguments be rejected. Almost 1,000 couples have been added to the registry since its start.
"purely socialist concept" while talking with the conservative Radio America for World Net Daily Sept. 23, according to Advocate.com. King also said, "If relationships between individuals cannot be prohibited by the state legislature, then there's no ban that can actually be constitutional that would ban group marriage and it wouldn't have to be for reasons of, let me say, love or lust, it could be reasons of profitability or avoiding taxes or accessing benefits."
In New York, Fire Island's Ice Palace nightclub and the adjacent Grove Hotel were damaged by fire, affecting 18 rooms, according to Advocate.com. Firefighters from several Fire Island and Long Island departments responded to the scene; the cause of the fire is being investigated. Among those who have performed at Ice Palace are singer Lady Gaga and lesbian comedienne Wanda Sykes.Read more story below....
A memo issued by the U.S. Customs and Immigration Service ( CIS ) indicates that the travel/immigration ban against HIV-positive individuals may soon end, according to an Advocate.com item. The memo orders officers to put a hold on green-card application decisions based only on HIV status. Steve Rails of Immigration Equality said, "It's a strong indication that U.S. CIS expects this to move forward soon and it's a very good indicator that the administration is moving forward on repeal."
On Sept. 23, the House Education & Labor Committee heard testimony regarding the Employment Non-Discrimination Act ( ENDA ) . Rep. George Miller, D-Calif., commented that ENDA would "ensure that employment decisions are based on merit and performance and not prejudice." Among those who testified in favor of the bill are openly gay U.S. Reps. Barney Frank of Massachusetts and Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin.
Brendon Ayanbadejo of the National Football League's ( NFL's ) Baltimore Ravens has emerged as a supporter of same-sex marriage, according to the Washington Blade. Ayanbadejo recently attended an event sponsored by Equality Maryland. In the Huffington Post, the player stated that "we will look back in 10, 20, 30 years and be amazed that gays and lesbians did not have the same rights as everyone else. ... If Britney Spears can party it up in Vegas with one of her boys and go get married on a whim and annul her marriage the next day, why can't a loving same-sex couple tie the knot?"
In California, the group Love Honor Cherish has filed for a measure to overturn the anti-same-sex-marriage initiative Proposition 8, according to the Los Angeles Times. "Starting today, there is new hope for committed gay and lesbian couples who want to get married," said John Henning, executive director of Love Honor Cherish, said in a statement. However, other groups, such as Equality California, had decided to wait until 2012 to push for such an amendment.
Michael Schwartz, the chief of staff for Republican U.S. Sen. Tom Coburn of Oklahoma, told attendees at a Washington, D.C., conference that pornography can lead to homosexuality, according to Politico.com. Schwartz first said that homosexuality is wrong because, he claimed, most 10-year-olds innately hate it. Then, recalling what a friend told him, Schwartz said, "'All pornography is homosexual pornography, because all pornography turns your sexual drive inwards."
In Massachusetts, Attorney General Martha Coakley filed an injunction against gay-basher Eric Patten Sept. 23, according to Bay Windows. The injunctions prevents Patten from violating the civil rights of victims based on actual or perceived orientation. Patten is charged with the May assault of two women he thought were lesbians; he faces 10 years in prison and up to $10,000 in fines.
In Tennessee, the Nashville city council has passed an ordinance banning discrimination against LGBT municipal workers, according to an Advocate.com item. The measure passed 24-15, with one absent member. Pro-ordinance councilwoman Megan Barry said, "I believe that all employees deserve protection, and it's my responsibility as a councilmember to make sure that happens."
In Ohio, the Akron/Summit County Convention and Visitors Bureau is pledging $100,000 to boost Cleveland's chances of hosting the 2014 Gay Games, according to the Akron Beacon Journal. Bureau President Susan Hamo said that, considering that the event could have a regional economic impact of more than $60 million, backing Cleveland's bid seems wise. Cleveland's city council has already approved a $700,000 grant for the Games.
In California, Newport Beach city officials will pay $1.45 million to Sgt. Neil Harvey, who was constantly denied promotions because of ( false ) rumors he was gay, the Orange County Register reported. Harvey originally won $1.2 million in damages and $700,000 in attorneys' fees, but was later amended after the overall amount was changed to $2 million.
In Atlanta, Ga., members of the LGBT community are upset over a raid of gay bar Atlanta Eagle by the city's police department Sept. 10, according to the Washington Blade. Garrett McClendon, one of 62 patrons in the leather bar, said he heard the officers say several anti-gay slurs, including "I hate homosexuals" and "I don't like fags." Eight Eagle employees were arrested and charged with running an unlicensed business and providing adult entertainment without a license.
Vermont Gov. Jim Douglas has said that granting same-sex marriage rights will not benefit his state economically, according to a South Florida Blade item. Douglas, a Republican, said at a National Press Club event that same-sex marriage is "a matter of great debate" and that " [ i ] t's not something dealing with the economic well-being of our state, the fiscal integrity of Vermont and job creation or affordability." However, a report from the Williams Institute states that same-sex marriage will add more than $30 million to the state's economy.
In Washington, D.C., a panel of six Black LGBT activists was featured at a town-hall meeting on "Homophobia in the African-American Community," according to the Washington Blade. Local gay comedian and writer Korrell Sampson McCormick initiated the idea of the meeting as a leader of the new group Metropolitan Network Against Homophobia. McCormick said he was motivated to speak out about homophobia after the killings of a Black gay man and a transwoman over the past two years.
Washington, D.C., City Councilman Phil Mendelson is urging the U.S. Attorney's Office to drop a proposed plea bargain concerning the 2008 beating death of a gay man, the Washington Blade reported. Suspect Robert Hannah, 19, has been charged with only simple assault in the death of Tony Randolph Hunter; if Hannah accepts the plea deal, there would be no trial. Hannah punched Hunter after the victim allegedly touched his crotch; Hunter fell to the ground, causing a fatal brain injury.
The Democratic National Committee has appointed its first transgender member, Barbra Casbar-Siperstein, according to EDGE Boston. Casbar-Siperstein is political director of the Gender Rights Advocacy Association of New Jersey and a member of the New Jersey Civil Unions Review Commission, and was a delegate to the 2008 Democratic National Convention in Denver. "I'm [ not only ] bringing a slightly different point of view as a trans person, but as a member of the LGBT caucus and also as a senior, as a woman," she said.
A measure banning employment or housing bias based on sexual orientation has made history by passing the Ohio House, 365Gay.com reported. The bill had previously stalled four times in committee, but passed 56-38 and now goes on to the state senate. Twenty states have anti-sexual-orientation discrimination laws.